Belle Isle’s speech at the event, which was hosted again by the Alpharetta Business Association, focused on goals for the city and what’s being done to accomplish them.
The mayor said in terms of goals and projects, it’s easy to figure out the “what” but “where ‘whats’ die is the ‘how.’”
The two goals laid out for the city when Belle Isle took office two years ago were to make Alpharetta the hometown of its more than 60,000 residents and to make the city the “Technology City of the South.”
One way — or “how” — city council is trying to give its residents a hometown is by developing a downtown. The new City Center project is expected to be completed this fall.
“You can’t be a good hometown without a downtown,” Belle Isle said.
But, he said, a financial investment is not enough, which is why the city has been hosting more local events, such as the weekly Food Truck Alley and the Home By Dark songwriters event.
“We’re working very hard on the ‘how’ but we’re not there yet,” Belle Isle said. “But it’s working.”
Other ways the city has been successful, Belle Isle said, is by continuing to have the lowest burglary rate in the area and by continuing to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state.
Belle Isle also mentioned the long-awaited Avalon multi-use project that’s finally taking shape at Old Milton Parkway and Ga. 400.
The development will be Georgia’s first “fiberhood,” a community with an ultra-high-speed fiber-to-the-premises broadband network.
“It would be an understatement to say it’s a game changer,” Belle Isle said.
Belle Isle closed his address by saying the city council and staff are dedicated to finding ways to meet goals in the city and saying 2014 will be one of the city’s best years ever.